Friday, December 10, 2010

Wells Resident to be Remembered Dearly

Myles Kingsley Henry
Age 54
Myles Kingsley Henry, 54 years, a resident of Wells, Maine died unexpectedly on a golfing trip with his lifelong friends in Marco Island, Florida. He was born in Biddeford, Maine on August 22, 1956, and grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire. He graduated from Bishop Guertin High School and studied Hotel Administration at the University of New Hampshire. Myles began an illustrious restaurant career as a bus boy at Lord’s Restaurant in Wells, worked as a chef at several New England eateries and managed several Red Lobster Restaurants throughout the country.
He and his brother Dick became co-owners of the Maine Diner in 1983. The popular Wells restaurant was recently featured on the nationally televised Food Network program Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and was recently recognized as the 2010 Maine Restaurateur of the year by the Maine Restaurant Association. Myles had a unique marketing talent that helped promote the Diner with appearances on the Today Show, The Phantom Gourmet and enjoyed participating in the New Orleans Food Festival. He created the Diner’s award winning Seafood Chowder, which has become one of the most popular dishes at the restaurant.
Myles was an avid surfer, golfer and New England sports fan. His love of the Rolling Stones connected him and his wife, Trish, with a network of fans called the Shidoobees. They traveled around the world following the Stones and their Shidoobee friends.
Myles was loved by so many people, including several employees who have worked at the Diner since he and Dick started the business. They have been supportive of many charities and Myles will be remembered for his generosity.
Myles is the son of the late Claude and Phoebe Henry. He is survived by his loving wife, Trisha Wilson Henry and his two children Sara Henry of Watertown, MA and Derek Henry of Kennebunk, ME, four brothers, Karl, of National Park, NJ, Dick, of Wells, ME, Bruce of Kennebunk, ME, Todd of Freeport, ME and two sisters, Claudia of Brunswick, ME and Tala of Queensbury, NY.
Visiting hours will be on Friday, December 10 from 6 – 9 p.m. at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 111 Chapel Road in Wells. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 11 from 12 – 3 p.m. at the Coastal House on Route 1 in Wells. Officiating the memorial service will be Rev. Peter W. Leon, Pastor of Wells Branch Baptist Church.
Should friends desire, memorial donations may be made to the Myles Henry Scholarship Fund c/o Wells High School – 200 Sanford Rd., Wells, ME. 04090. The scholarship will recognize a Wells High School student athlete senior “who exhibits honesty, sportsmanship and passion on and off the field of play.”
Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043,
Photo caption: Myles Henry, well-known co-owner of the Maine Diner in Wells, died unexpectedly on Friday, Dec. 3, in Marco Island, FL. (Courtesy photo)

Nortonlights Returns to Wells, Makes Dreams Come True

By Molly McCoy
Staff Columnist
What began as a sibling rivalry in 2006 has escalated to remarkable proportions. This year, the aptly named “Nortonlights” is returning to Wells for another season, and the Norton family is thrilled to share the holiday magic right outside their door.
Each year, Stan and his family (wife, Melissa, and two sons) decorate their yard for the holidays. Now, we’ve all started seeing the satiric holiday commercials for one product or another, each playing on the classic neighborly competition for the most decorated house. Take those commercials and turn them up a notch…or ten.
As you head off to the Norton’s home in Wells, prepare yourself for the real deal. According to Stan, approximately 34,000 lights illuminate their yard, and passersby can take in a choreographed music and light show lasting just over ten minutes and featuring a variety of Christmas music favorites.
“Last year’s song was the fireworks song from Epcot. This year, we found one song early, actually another Disney one, ‘Illuminations.’ We kind of went with that,” says Stan.
The song they focused on was shorter than last year’s, allowing them to include “Everybody Loves Christmas” by Eddie Money, The Carpenters rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Wizards of Winter” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and another Disney classic, “When You Wish Upon A Star.”
“‘Wizards of Winter’ is one of my father-in-law’s favorite Christmas songs, so we included that as sort of a tribute to him. He’s helped out a lot with setting everything up,” says Stan. “The second Disney song is in honor of our partnership with the Make A Wish Foundation.”
Every year since its beginning, Nortonlights has worked to benefit a local cause. The first year they did an animated show, the Nortons collected cans for the St. Mary’s food bank right here in Wells. Last year, the Nortons expanded to a Halloween show and can drive, dubbed “Operation: Scare ‘n Share.”
“We didn’t want to do two can drives back-to-back,” says Stan. “We wanted to have a bigger impact in the community and do something different.”
They found a partner in the Make A Wish Foundation of Maine. Working at the Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire, Stan was familiar with the organization because of their presence at the base, often granting wishes to aspiring pilots and firefighters. “They’re a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful group of people that work down there. It just seemed like the perfect fit,” says Stan, glowing about the work that this organization is able to do. Last year, Nortonlights raised just over $6,000 for the Foundation, making them official “Wishmakers” for Make A Wish of Maine, and inspiring them to give again.
You can find an official cash donation box on the Norton’s property when you come to view the show, and Stan even makes “Stanta” rounds to visit cars, collecting donations on those colder nights. “You can stay in your car where it’s warm,” says Stan, laughing, “and you’re still able to give.”
While he might miss some cars on slower nights, Stan remains outside from 5 p.m. until the show ends on busy Friday and Saturday nights, welcoming people, collecting donations, and handing out candy canes.
“There was an hour-long wait [to see the show] at one point last year,” Stan recalls.
This year, the Nortons are estimating about 3,000 to 3,500 people will view their decorated home over the course of its December – January run. “That’s what we’re figuring for candy canes, anyway,” says Stan. The Nortons stop collecting Make A Wish donations on December 31, and find out soon after whose wish they are granting.
To view this spectacular show, simply visit the Norton’s home at 213 Canterbury Road in Wells, Maine, tune your car radio to 88.9FM, and wait for the next performance in the loop to begin. Sometimes Stan puts out speakers for his walking guests, but he comments, “They’re more for me, so I know where we’re at in the show.”
Anything else? As my interview ended, Stan wanted to make one thing very clear: “I just want to make sure that everyone is courteous to my neighbors. They are a wonderful group of people and they put up with a lot with the shows I do.” Stan asks that visitors drive carefully and keep one lane of the street open for traffic at all times, so his kind and patient neighbors can get in and out. “They pull their blinds, but it’s because they can’t see their TVs!” remarks Stan. “When the show starts, they can actually just turn on their radios and sit in their windows. They get a front row seat!”
For more information, directions, and to view a video of last year’s show, visit
Photo caption: Stan Norton and his family present “Nortonlights,” a choreographed holiday light show on the Norton’s front lawn in Wells. Last year’s light show raised just over $6,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation of Maine. (Courtesy photo)

Howe Brothers “Keeping Busy” in Waterboro

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
It seems there’s never a dull moment for Howe and Howe Technologies.
Mike and Geoff Howe are the designers and builders of Ripsaw MS-1, the world’s fastest dual track vehicle that goes from zero to 50 miles-per-hour in 5.5 seconds and can crash through buildings and over sand dunes. It is controlled remotely and designed to aid the military in scouting areas without endangering the lives of the combat troops involved. It is currently under testing by the military.
But the brothers aren’t the kinds who sit around and wait to see what happens to their inventions.
They are working on an aquatic version of the Ripsaw, named Riptide, that has been tested in Ogunquit. “We do a lot of our work in Maine,” Geoff Howe said in a telephone interview. “Maine is very important to us.”
“We’ll do everything we can do to make sure anything we develop stays in Maine,” Mike Howe said.
They’ve been contacted by firefighters and are working on a robot specifically for firefighting applications.
In addition, a New Zealand mining company has asked about developing a robot to aid in disasters.
“Here’s a Maine based company being called, the international spotlight being put on us,” Mike Howe said. “We’re going to be developing a robotic platform” basically for search and rescue in mining situations.
Oh, yes, then there is a vehicle they designed and built for an Augusta man who is confined to a wheelchair and wanted to go fishing with his son for the first time in 20 years.
In there somewhere the Howes have done one season of a reality show on the Discovery Network, Black Ops Brothers, that had, Geoff Howe said, the best premiere numbers in the Discovery Channel’s history.
The brothers will debut a second season of Black Ops Brothers Wednesday, Dec. 15, at 10 p.m.
Geoff Howe said the show is “like no other show in the history of television” because it is “real, about two brothers who are trying to make it in business. You’re going to see the real deal.”
The Howes have appeared on other channels as well as Discovery, including the military and history channels and were courted by others but settled on doing the show for Discovery.
Mike said doing the show “was a double edged sword” because “it could help us or hurt us but we decided to do it. We’re innovators and part of innovation is in getting your technology out there. That’s the end result.”
While accomplishing all that, the company has relocated from its 4,000 square foot facility in Eliot to a 55,000 square foot site in Waterboro that includes a retail store to give people access to all kinds of merchandise featuring their company logo.
Howe and Howe’s employment level varies with the contacts they are working on.
After the first season on Discovery, the Howes received what they termed “a lot of contacts from all around the world saying ‘can you guys build a wheelchair for me,’” Mike Howe said, including one from Augusta.
It was a Navy veteran confined to a wheelchair who said he hadn’t been able to go fishing with his son for 20 years. Rocky told the brothers the wheelchair he was in couldn’t even go on gravel roads.
Mike and Geoff Howe decided to build an off road wheelchair. What they designed and built was a platform onto which a normal wheelchair could be rolled and strapped in.
The brothers said the day Rocky arrived at their facility with his son and was able to go fishing in the Ripchair was one of the most profound days they’ve experienced.
Mike Howe noted that the chair gave Rocky back some of the freedom he has lost fighting for freedom for the rest of us.
“He can actually go out to the woods, go hiking, go hunting, go fishing, and nobody has to wheel him around,” Mike Howe said.
In the near future, thanks to the Discovery Channel, Rocky will own the prototype the Howes built.
“It brought Geoff and I outside of our box,” Mike said. “Outside the commercial, capitalistic box and said let’s do something for someone else.”
Photo caption: The Howe brothers, of Howe and Howe Technologies, designed this vehicle for a man in Augusta who is confined to a wheelchair. The so-called “Ripchair” allowed the user to go fishing with his son for the first time in 20 years. (Courtesy photo)